Eva Mendes: Diet and Sexy-Butt Workout

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Maria Lorenzhttps://ifitandhealthy.com
Join me on my "I Fit and Healthy" journey! Maria is an Upstate New Yorker interested in all things healthy-living related! She started the "I Fit and Healthy" Blog to document life and her pursuit of healthy living. By day she work in digital media and advertising. By night she’s a first-rate wife and mom of two crazy little girls! She is self-proclaimed addicted to her iPhone/iPad and always on the hunt for the latest health tools and fitness gadgets.

Once a junk-food junkie and exercise phobe, Eva Mendes discovers the rewards of living a healthier lifestyle.

How I Got My Best Body Ever! – which was recently published in Shape, reveals how it all went down.

When Eva Mendes decided to transform her body by changing her diet and beginning an exercise program, she turned to her super-fit friend Halle Berry for advice.

Halle suggested Eva meet with Harley Pasternak, the fitness coach whom Halle trained with for her role in Catwoman.

“Harley got my butt into the gym and is continually teaching me about eating right,” says Eva, 31. Here’s a peek into the strategy that Eva used to drop pounds and tone up.

Be honest with yourself Born in Miami and raised in Los Angeles, Eva is the youngest of four kids in a Cuban family. “I grew up eating meat, potatoes, black beans, rice, and lots of white bread,” says Eva.

By the time she was in her 20s and a struggling actress living on her own, Eva had become what she calls a nutritional disaster. “I was in my car all day, running from audition to audition, living off of Jack in the Box,” she says.

Years of eating on the fly started to take its toll. “I had no energy and was moody, and I didn’t look as cute in my jeans as I used to,” she says.

Her solution was to find healthy alternatives to her old favorites by picking foods that had similar flavors or textures (see chart below).

Now, rather than grabbing Burger King’s French Toast Sticks for breakfast on her way to an early meeting, Eva takes a few minutes to make her own version at home with a slice of whole-grain cinnamon-raisin bread (she likes Ezekiel 4:9 made by Food for Life) dipped in beaten egg whites, fried in a tiny bit of canola oil, and topped with sugar-free maple syrup and berries.

For lunch and dinner, she usually has salmon, brown rice, and a big salad. “Learning to love fresh greens hasn’t been easy,” admits Eva. “My goal is to one day actually crave salads, but I’m not there yet.”

As for snacks, bring them on! Eva loves to graze all day long, but she’s careful to choose foods that are healthy and satisfying.

She always has some turkey jerky around for the times she wants something salty, and she stashes a bag full of Kashi GoLean Crunch cereal in her car in case she needs a nourishing snack.
“I know it’s an illusion,” she says, “but I feel like I’m eating chips when I’m munching on cereal.”

Never stop challenging your body “When I first met Eva, she told me she wasn’t a person who liked to spend time in a gym,” says Los Angeles-based personal trainer Pasternak, author of 5-Factor Fitness and The 5-Factor Diet. “But in just a few weeks, she really got into it.”

What’s his secret to motivating Eva? Every week he creates new routines for her to do, varying the moves, the intensity, and the number of reps and sets. “For your body to keep changing, your exercise program has to keep changing, too,” he explains.

Eva always begins with a five-minute warm-up on the treadmill or elliptical, then she moves on to weight training with bursts of cardio-like jumping rope for a minute-in between sets.

“I really don’t like doing cardio,” admits Eva. “Every single day it’s a struggle for me to get on the treadmill or to jump rope. But I know it’s one of those things I have to do-for my heart and for my well-being. I may not enjoy the process, but I definitely enjoy the results.”

Find your motivation When Eva decided to adjust her habits, she knew very little about diet and exercise.

But because Pasternak’s style is to explain the “how” and, more importantly, the “why” behind each exercise and food choice, his clients understand the rationale for them-and they’re more likely to stick with the program.

“He always has a new bit of information to share about exercise or nutrition,” says Eva of her coach. “Like the other day he told me about Annie Chun’s Rice Express (6.3 oz. bowl, $3; worldpantry.com), this microwavable brown rice.

I zap it for two minutes, open a can of tuna, and there’s my lunch!” The best lesson she’s learned in the last year, however, is to really appreciate her body.

“I’ve kept my curvy shape, but now my body is toned and defined,” she says. “I wake up with more energy, I’m on track nutritionally, and I’m learning to have fun at the gym. I’ve never felt better!”

Eva Mendes’ Sexy-Butt Workout

“Since I started exercising, I really like where my butt is going,” says Eva. “It’s defying gravity!” Here are two moves she does to keep her bottom up.

Bench step-up Using a standard 18-inch-high weight bench (holding dumbbells or hands on hips), step up with one foot, keeping the other leg straight and off the bench. Lower down and repeat. Do 12 to 15 reps; switch sides to complete set.

Ball hamstring curl Using a stability ball, lie faceup on a mat with your heels on top of the ball and lift hips in line with body. Roll the ball toward your butt by contracting your hamstrings. Make sure to keep your hips up and your toes pointed slightly forward. Do 12 to 15 reps per set.

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